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FIBA Women’s World Cup Primer: Canada takes its first step in pursuit of history – Sportsnet.ca

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Victor Lapeña’s first test as the new head coach of Canada’s senior women’s basketball program comes on the world stage, as Canada will compete at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 Qualifying Tournament in Osaka, Japan.

Lapeña will take Canada to face off against Japan, the host country, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina in Group C. In normal circumstances, the top three finishers in each group will solidify their spot at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 in Sydney.

However, Belarus has decided they will not be participating in the qualifying tournament, meaning that Canada has automatically qualified for a spot in Sydney in September.

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While the roster still heads to Osaka to compete and get their chemistry together before the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022, Lapeña will be tasked with a new challenge he has yet to face – being the head coach for a national women’s team.

Previously, Lapeña had served as an assistant coach for Spain’s women’s senior national team, leading them to an Olympic silver medal at Rio 2016, and a silver medal at the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women in his 14 years with the program.

For Lapeña, the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 gives him a chance to help Canada make history, as they aim to make a 12th appearance at the event and search for their highest-ever finish.

The highest Canada has ever finished at a World Cup is third place, at the 1979 FIBA World Championship for Women in Korea and the 1986 FIBA World Championship for Women in Moscow.

Failing to earn a quarter-final berth at the Tokyo Olympics, Canada posted a 1-2 record in group play, losing out on a tiebreaker between the other “lucky loser” teams. In each of the previous two Olympics in Rio and London, Canada’s women’s national team lost in the quarter-finals.

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Here’s a look at what is coming up for Canada as they take on the first step of the FIBA Women’s Basketball 2022 World Cup.

How to watch Team Canada play
Starting on Thursday against Japan, Canada takes its first step toward the FIBA Women’s Basketball 2022 World Cup. Here’s how to watch.

Games

With a 14-hour time change, Canada opens their tournament against host team Japan at 5 a.m. ET on Thursday, Feb. 10, which is 7 p.m. local time.

Canada will then take on Bosnia and Herzegovina at 1 a.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 12, which is 3 p.m. ET local time, facing off against the 2021 WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones in the matchup.

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Since Belarus cancelled their participation, Canada will only play two games in the tournament.

Broadcast

As Sportsnet is now the exclusive home for FIBA events in Canada through the fall of 2025, both games will be available to watch on Sportsnet 360.

Qualifier format

The FIBA Women’s Basketball 2022 World Cup qualifying is much different than the men’s tournament, as the men’s side qualifies in their continental regions such as the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe.

Instead, the women’s side has qualifying tournaments much like the Olympics, taking place in Osaka, Japan, Washington, USA, and Belgrade, Serbia, and the games will be played from Feb. 10-13.

The tournament in Washington consists of Belgium, Puerto Rico, Russia, and home team USA facing off, while the tournament in Belgrade will see two different qualifying groups.

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Belgrade will host Australia, Korea, Brazil and home team Serbia in Group A, with Group B consisting of Mali, China, France and Nigeria.

The FIBA Women’s Basketball 2022 World Cup serves as a qualifer for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Canada’s Bridget Carleton (6), left, passes around South Korea’s Hyeyoon Bae. (Charlie Neibergall/AP)



Roster notes

While Canada has a lot of talent playing overseas as well as in the NCAA and WNBA, players in those leagues have generally not been made available for in-season qualifying windows, with players like Natalie Achonwa and Bridget Carleton missing out on the 2021 edition of the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup due to their WNBA commitments.

Though 19 players were named to the preliminary roster for Canada’s training camp, only 12 travelled to Osaka to compete.

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The players named to the final roster include veterans Achonwa, Carleton, Kayla Alexander and Nirra Fields, who competed for Canada during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games as well as Alexander and Fields competing in the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup in June.

Michelle Plouffe returns to the team after missing competition in 2020 and 2021 due to FIBA 3×3 commitments for Team Canada.

Shay Colley, a key player for Canada in Tokyo, was also named to the initial roster along with Aislinn Konig and Jamie Scott, who were reserves for the Tokyo Games.

NCAA standouts Laeticia Amihere and Merissah Russell return for Canada, while UConn star Aaliyah Edwards will not be participating due to her NCAA commitments.

Cassandra Brown and Quinn Dornstauder round out the final members of the 12 women named to the final roster.

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Coaches

Lapeña signed on to coach alongside newly hired assistant coach Noelle Quinn, the current head coach of the Seattle Storm, along with fellow assistant coaches Steve Baur and Carly Clarke. The FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 Qualifying Tournament will also be a look at Lapeña’s coaching style, as he will lead many players on the current roster to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games where he hopes to make a statement as head coach.

Former head coach Lisa Thomaidis and the program parted ways two days before her contract expired, ending a nine-year run with the team in which she compiled an 83-44 record and earned gold at the 2015 FIBA Americas Women’s Championship and the 2017 FIBA Women’s AmeriCup.

What’s next?

Since Belarus cancelled their participation, Canada’s senior woman will by default appear in the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 no matter how they perform in Osaka, but the senior men are yet to confirm their spot and will play in the Feb. 24-27 qualifying window.



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Aaron Judge home run ball: Blue Jays bullpen makes sure Yankees secure historic HR No. 61

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Aaron Judge belted his 61st home run of the season Wednesday against the Blue Jays, tying Roger Maris’ American League and Yankees single-season records. The historic ball reportedly would’ve been worth up to $2 million had it landed into the hands of a lucky fan. But on this chilly night in Toronto, the fan wasn’t so lucky. 

When Judge took lefty Tim Mayza deep in the seventh inning for dinger No. 61, the ball traveled painfully close to a Blue Jays fan who couldn’t corral it from his outfield seat. Here’s a look at a moment he won’t soon forget: 

Seeing Judge make history clearly didn’t mean as much to the fan as owning a piece of it, as he was caught on camera sulking and slamming his cap out of frustration moments after the ball left his sight.

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Thankfully for Judge and the Yankees, the ball ricocheted into the hands of Blue Jays bullpen coach Matt Buschmann. Buschmann and the Jays bullpen, specifically closer Jordan Romano, then made sure the ball got to Yankees personnel. 

“From what I heard from our bullpen guys, Romano was the guy that kind of handed it over,” Judge told reporters. “Getting that type of support and a classy move from him, who’s one of the best in the game, definitely means a lot. I’ve got to try to find him here and thank him for that, that’s for sure.”

After the game, Judge and his mother, Patty Judge, posed for a photo with the record-breaking ball.

With home run No. 61 out the way, Judge needs only one more over his team’s final seven games to take sole control of the Yankees and AL single-season records. He’s unlikely to match or exceed the MLB record of 73 home runs that Barry Bonds hit for the Giants in 2001. 

It’s been quite the two-game stretch for Judge. On Tuesday, his Yankees clinched the AL East with a 5-2 win over the Blue Jays. He then matched Maris’ 61 home runs the following day. If the saying “all good things come in threes” is true, perhaps we can expect Judge’s 62nd homer Friday against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium. 

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2022 Sanderson Farms Championship: Live stream, watch online, TV schedule, channel, tee times, coverage, radio

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Fresh off an electric Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow Club, the PGA Tour returns to Jackson, Mississippi, for the 2022 Sanderson Farms Championship. Defending champion and Presidents Cup participant Sam Burns headlines the field as he looks to get his 2022-23 campaign off on the right foot after notching three victories a season ago.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout, a member of the international team, will also make the short trip from Charlotte to Jackson. The South African should be brimming with confidence as he searches for his first victory on the PGA Tour after garnering a 1-0-1 record at the Presidents Cup. The Country Club of Jackson, which has been kind to first-time winners in recent history, could be an ideal landing spot. Six of the last eight champions at the Sanderson Farms Championship have been first timers, with Sebastian Munoz being the last in 2019. 

This is welcomed news not only for Bezuidenhout, but also for the stable of recent Korn Ferry Tour graduates looking to make a splash on the PGA Tour. Taylor Montgomery, Davis Thompson and Ben An are coming off of top-10 finishes at the 2022 Foritnet Championship and primed to improve on their efforts in Napa.

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All times Eastern; streaming start times approximated

Round 1 – Thursday

Round starts: 8 a.m.

PGA Tour Live: 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. — PGA Tour Live

TV coverage: 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. on Golf Channel

Radio: 1-6:30 p.m. — PGA Tour Radio

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Round 2 – Friday

Round starts: 8 a.m.

PGA Tour Live: 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. — PGA Tour Live

TV coverage: 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. on Golf Channel

Radio: 1-6:30 p.m. — PGA Tour Radio

Round 3 – Saturday

Round starts: 8 a.m.

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PGA Tour Live: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. — PGA Tour Live

TV coverage: 4-7 p.m. on Golf Channel

Radio: 2-7 p.m. — PGA Tour Radio

Round 4 – Sunday

Round starts: 8 a.m.

PGA Tour Live: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. — PGA Tour Live

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TV coverage: 4-7 p.m. on Golf Channel

Radio: 2-7 p.m. — PGA Tour Radio



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Oregon OC blames LeBron James for college football 'superteams'

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Oregon OC Kenny Dillingham pointed to LeBron’s Miami move as the reason behind “superteams” in college football. Does he have a point?



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